At over 100 years old the Committee Club is one of the three oldest Surveyors clubs in existence. Designed to be a ginger group to keep the RICS on track and in touch with its Membership one might argue that it’s need is as great now as it has ever been.
A select dinner in the Carlton Club in the prestigious and quite exquisite ground floor dining room this was a daunting task with 50% of the diners being Chartered Surveyor Liverymen including the Father of the Livery, Past Master and Committee Club Father Professor Alan Gillett who chaired the event, Past Master Michael Baker and no less than 3 members of the Court. The other diners however had no links with the livery and not a clue what it was I stand for or do as Master for a Livery Company. So a wide variation in knowledge to say the least.
My brief was to say a little about the Livery and City of London and my year in office as I have only 5 days left before I hand over to Lady Davies.
I referred to the role of the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs, the existence of 110 Livery Companies, 39 Livery Halls, our own livery approaching 400 Members with 100 Freemen, the fact that the Liveries and Mayor raise over £50 million a year for Charity, The Lord Mayor makes over 20 overseas business visits and receives some 140 overseas delegations during his year and with the City of London responsible for generating about 20% of UK GDP.
I stressed the Livery was not about me as Master but as an organisation we support 18 university student bursaries, 200 apprenticeships through CSTT, 4 London Schools with grants and mentoring, We promote the Property Marketing Awards and are movers and shakers as a modern company in the Livery movement.
I gave the assembled diners some insights into my year as follows:
Allied & Associated Liveries lunch initiated, organised and hosted by the Chartered Surveyors Company at Apothecaries Hall with the Lord Mayor and Sheriffs.
The Lord Mayors Show.
The visit to Guildhall and the Magna Carta.
My gown not arriving at the Sons of the Clergy Service at St Pauls and therefore being unable to process with the rest of the Masters.
Visit to RAF Wyton and meeting Air Vice Marshall The Lord Beaverbrook and a fly past at 100ft of the Battle of Britain flight Dakota resplendent in invasion markings.
Jailed and Bailed in the Tower of London by the Sheriffs and having to parade through the tourists guarded by the Beefeaters whist chained to 30 other Masters and only being released on a fine of £2000 for charity.
The three formal Livery dinners which secured a total of 700 attendees.
The Company’s Centenary carol service at St Lawrence Jewry on the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of WW1 and the story told by our Beadle, Jimmy James.
Other memorable moments:
Livery Hall Walks — all 39 of them a distance of some 12 miles covered.
Sea Cadets Marching Band at the Tower of London.
Knights Bachelor service in the Crypt of St Pauls.
Behind the scenes visit to St Pauls with the Surveyor to the Fabric of St Pauls.
Theatre visit — American Buffalo.
Guildhall School of Music production of Guys and Dolls.
All of that was probably enough to send many of the guests to sleep but equally a few more have asked about Membership so you never know!
Graham F. Chase Master